Welcome to our latest monthly update. I have to start by saying a big thank you to everyone for their kind words after our recent one year anniversary. It has been an incredible journey and now the cakes have been eaten we’re fully focused on continuing our growth in year 2!

As I’m sure is the case with you, projects haven’t slowed over the summer months which is encouraging and, it’s reassuring to see companies are still investing and seeing the importance of the role that marketing plays, particularly in the economic uncertainty that currently surrounds us all.

In between all of the recent delivery work I found time to attend B2B Marketing magazine’s annual Ignite conference here in the UK. It was an excellent event with over 1,000 marketers in attendance.

I attended 10 sessions throughout the day and I thought it was worth sharing my four main takeaways (in no particular order) which hopefully you might find useful.

Takeaway 1: Account-based marketing

My first takeaway is the growing importance of Account-based marketing. It’s been a growing area for a few years, but now more than ever it’s an approach that is finally moving beyond a fad to a critical component of any marketer’s toolkit, especially in professional services. Every organisation IS different and a one size fits all campaign approach just doesn’t cut it. To truly build a relationship with a target organisation account-based marketing is a must. Build the right plan, for the right company.

Takeaway 2: The Eight-second attention span

My second takeaway is the myth of the eight-second attention span. For a long time, we’ve been told people prefer short, snappy pieces of content. Our attention spans have reduced. Without doubt this is true for some. But, the truth according to Jason Miller, global content marketing leader at LinkedIn, is that on the whole if your content is compelling, people will read it. I can’t disagree. So, the challenge for all of us is not necessarily to write shorter pieces of content and push them out at pace but to put a real focus on developing content that is compelling and that rises above the ‘noise’. Length is irrelevant if and it’s a big IF, the content is best in class. Just keep thinking of a book, if it keeps you enthralled you won’t put it down.

Takeaway 3: Avoid the bid

The third takeaway is around customer relationships and this feeds into account-based marketing. Russ Powell, marketing manager at Atos explained in his session that the best way to win a bid is to make sure it doesn’t get to a bid in the first place. This totally resonated with me in our space. Our marketing challenge in professional services is to work with our sales teams/consultants to ensure client relationships are strong enough that you can seize an opportunity before a potential project even gets to a bid stage and thus reverse the need for the customer to even think about opening up an opportunity to a wider pool of your competitors. Not always easy, but possible.

Takeaway 4: Brand responsibility

My fourth and final takeaway is from a session delivered by Claire Savage, head of brand marketing at the Ordnance Survey. Claire argued strongly that everyone in your organisation is responsible for your brand. A winning brand strategy shouldn’t just be the responsibility of the marketing team; it should encompass the whole company. This could not be truer. Just think what makes brands like Pret, Virgin, et al so successful.

So, there you have it! I’d love to hear what you are seeing and hearing. If you’d like to discuss any of these areas in more detail, do drop me a note and I’ll be happy to share my thoughts.

Best wishes,

Michael

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